Media coverage of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue has included feature articles and highlights in the many local, national and international news outlets. Below is some select coverage that highlight the synagogue.
West Side Rag: Enrollment Opens For In-Person And Virtual Hebrew School Classes At Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
Apr 30, 2021
When Stephen Wise Free Synagogue had to close its physical doors in March of 2020 due to COVID-19, like so many other schools its Religious School went online. But unlike most others, in fall 2020, Stephen Wise’s school gave students the choice to return to a hybrid model of in-person learning and remote Hebrew lessons or continue fully remotely.
West Side Rag: The New World of Religious Worship on the UWS
Apr 27, 2021
As we move closer to post-pandemic life, Upper West Side religious institutions are busy making plans to reopen for in-person worship and events, with COVID-19 safety precautions in place. In fact, some, like our Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, have already been open for months. What do in-person religious services and events on the Upper West Side look like in the spring of 2021?
The Forward: How good it is to sit together: Why we re-opened our religious school during the pandemic
Apr 7, 2021
“When we decided last spring to give all of our religious school students the option to attend in person, I’m pretty sure most people thought it was a pipe dream — and a risky one at that,” writes our Rabbi Rena Rifkin in the Forward. “Nothing beats sitting in a room together. Learning builds community. Physical togetherness builds community.”
The Jerusalem Post: We must stop enabling haredi domination of religion and state
Mar 11, 2021
“Decades of excessive political power have corrupted the values of those who claim to be most loyal to Jewish values,” writes our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, addressing ultra-Orthodox pushback to Israel’s recognition of non-Orthodox conversions. “It is distressing that the American-Jewish establishment has been largely silent. Most of your supporters and most of your financing come from the non-Orthodox community. You cannot sit this out. If our bond with Israel deteriorates further, it will weaken all of us.”
Great Neck Record: 5 NY Educators Honored With Young Pioneers Award
Mar 5, 2021
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is proud to congratulate ECC Assistant Director Melissa Hume for winning the 2021 Robert M. Sherman Young Pioneers Award along with four other exceptional New York-area educators!
CBS Detroit Michigan Matters: Black History Month and MLK
Feb 28, 2021
Our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch’s sister, Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, and father, Rabbi Richard Hirsch, spoke on CBS Detroit’s “Michigan Matters” about their family’s involvement in the civil rights movement and the work that’s yet to be done to secure a more diverse and equitable future.
Detroit Free Press: Civil rights activism inspired OU president’s gift to recruit, retain diverse faculty
Feb 20, 2021
The Detroit Free Press reports that our Senior Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch’s sister, Ora Pescovitz, endowed a $250,000 gift to Oakland University, of which she is president, to honor their father and late mother. The Rabbi Richard G. and Bella Hirsch Faculty Endowment for Racial and Social Justice will focus on recruiting and retaining diverse faculty members.
The Jerusalem Post: Senior Rabbi accuses Trump of ‘sledgehammering democratic norms’
Oct 31, 2020
On the Shabbat before Election Day, our Senior Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch worried about the threat of violence in the coming weeks, no matter the outcome: “I am deeply worried about our country. The American experiment rests on two central propositions that are under withering assault: the right to vote, and the peaceful transfer of power. On this last Shabbat before our fateful choice, we pray for the peace of our nation.”
The Jerusalem Post: NY synagogue Cries Out ‘Black Lives Matter’ in Rosh Hashanah Sermon
Sep 20, 2020
Our Senior Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch opened the Jewish New Year with a special message of “optimism and moral clarity,” as the synagogue called it, by stating that “Black lives matter” — and perpetuating the deep underlying connection that exists between the Jewish and African-American communities in the U.S.
NY Jewish Week: Rabbis See Birth of New Movement for Civil Rights
Jun 9, 2020
Following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch voiced his support for protests and criticized the response of our country’s “politically incompetent and morally deficient national leadership” at a time when there is an “assault on the guardrails of democracy.”